Boys Prep Hockey – Stuart/Corkery Elite 8 Final: Kimball Union Back On Top Of The Mountain

Gary Demopoulos
Gary Demopouloshttp://www.hnibnews.com
Gary Demopoulos has been covering prep school hockey for the HNIB News for over 30 years, and has been the editor of the HNIB News since 2005. A former sportswriter and news editor at the Woburn (MA) Daily Times Chronicle, he has been the HNIB News' key reporter for Mens Prep School hockey since 1988, as well as womens hockey, both at the prep school and high school levels. for almost 20 years. Gary also helps organize and oversee HNIB's many summer tournaments and festivals for scholastic players.

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Kimball Union won the 2024 NEPSAC Elite 8 title with a 4-1 win over Cushing. (Photo by Dave Arnold)

An epic championship game in the NEPSAC Stuart/Corkery Elite 8 championship game materialized when the top two seeds – #1 Cushing and #2 Kimball Union, both advanced to the final day.

It was to be the rubber match between these two powers, who played a pair of games in mid-February, each winning in the other’s building.

When it was over, it would be Kimball Union reigning supreme. The Wildcats jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead and never looked back, taking the 2024 Elite 8 title with a 4-1 win.

The win marked KUA’s first Elite 8 title since 2019, when they won their third of three straight championships.

To reach the finals, KUA had win a pair of nailbiters, beating St. George’s 5-4 in overtime in the quarterfinals, and then Salisbury 4-3, also in overtime, in the semifinals.

KUA captains Sam LeDrew (l) and Luke Clamer with the Elite 8 championship hardware (Photo by Dave Arnold)

KUA’s electric first line of Jack Sadowski, Sam LeDrew and Corwith Simmers rose to the occasion, combing to score all four goals for the Wildcats. And when Cushing went on the offensive, goalie Blake McMeniman was there to make a save on all but one Penguins shot.

Roughly five minutes into the contest, played at Harvard University’s Bright Landry Center, Sadowski converted a pass from LeDrew and slid it past Cushing goalie Marko Bilic to give KUA an early 1-0 lead.

The lead expanded to 2-0 later in the period. This time it was Simmers, who took passes from LeDrew and Sadowski and fired home a wrist shot.

Kimball Union went on the power play early in the second period, and Sadowski would score his second of the day to make it 3-0 for the Wildcats.

Cushing, which also reaached the 2023 Elite 8 championship game, finally solved McMeniman on a goal by Bronson Hunt.

It stayed 3-1 until the final minute, when Simmer put the final touches on a championship win with an empty net goal shot all the way from KUA’s goal line.

Kimball Union finished the season with an overall record of 32-5-0. Cushing, which knocked off St. Sebastian’s in the quarterfinals and then defending champion Avon Old Farms in the semifinals, was 28-4-0.

** Featured photo courtesy of Dave Arnold

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